Zack: Unusual resident, eh? I am betting horse.
Steve: That doesn't seem unusual to me. I've seen horses all the time.
Zack: Yeah, okay, you see horses hanging out in barns and fields. This is inside a house. That would scare the shit out of me to walk into somebody's house and...BOOM! Horse!Zack: "Welcome to our house. Here's our house horse."
Steve: "Does it give rides?"
Zack: *Looking nervously at each other and the horse* "I don't think so..."
Steve: But is that really sinister?
Zack: I'm imagining a horse slowly walking around inside a house. Opening up doors, sticking its head in, smelling the inside of hats, swishing its tail to turn on TVs. Maybe he tries to take a bath. Maybe he climbs up on a bed and stands there. Seems pretty sinister.
Steve: It's not really Lovecraftian horror though. Not cosmic horror.
Zack: Steve we are all the stuff of stars. Even horses. If preteen girls are to be believed, especially horses.
Steve: Alright enough about these stupid house horses and preteens. Let's get this started.
Steve: You are sitting in your mansion doing whatever it is you do on a normal afternoon.
Zack: Riding my horse through the house.
Steve: A letter has arrived special delivery. It is addressed to you and has been sent by the "Dodge Brothers" from Gamwell, Massachusetts. The write to request you presence and assistance in tracking down the missing owner of a mansion in Gamwell. His name is Arthur Cornthwaite. If he is deceased you are asked to prove it so that his will and testament might be carried out.
Zack: Well, well, well. Missing person case? The Dodge brothers have come to the right eight-year-old. I send out various servants to gather my friends at my mansion.
Steve: The next morning everyone is gathered in your parlor and talking among themselves.
Zack: "Good morning. I hope you enjoyed the various pastries and fruits and juices and coffees put out for your refreshment. Each of them contained a deadly poison and only I have the antidote. You must receive a dose every 24 hours or you will die. Am I understood?"
Steve: Someone says they are sorry for bumping into you and they continue to talk among themselves.
Zack: I get up on a chair and shout. "I will pay you all lots of money to come with me to Gamwell and help me solve a mystery."
Steve: "How much money?" asks Chang.
Zack: "A great deal."
Steve: They murmur at your promise to pay them each a great deal of money.
Zack: We will travel by train to Gamwell. Myself in my family's private car which contains a large telescope, orrery and my star maps. For the others I have provided a large wooden crate and ample straw in the cargo compartment.
Steve: Most of them travel by Karnov's circus truck.
Zack: Traveling amusements are the worst sort of entertainment. If the circus were really so amusing it would remain stationary and draw audiences from around the globe.
Steve: You arrive in Gamwell to find a small community of gentlemen farmers and a small town area with a few offices, a sheriff and small courthouse and a few shops.
I have raised over $300 participating in quilting bees for the American Quilting Bee Society so I think I deserve at least seven minutes of your time.
Ernest Cline, writer of Ready Player One, shares his newest poem.
Zack Parsons, Steve "Malak" Sumner, and friends tackle bizarre role playing game products that make them wonder, "What the fuck!?" From the early days of Gygax to contemporary role playing games, none will be spared.